From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.Philippians 4:8-9
I’ve been playing around with the formatting again here at DerekMaul.blog – so don’t be surprised if you see more changes over the next few days. I’m trying to make the content more accessible while at the same time including a “front page” to help new readers get a sense of who I am and where I’m coming from as a writer.
To be honest, I’m not sure how effective any of this will be. It’s hard to keep my “sharing good news” confidence alive when I see so many inane posts like, “Say ‘Amen’ if you believe Jesus loves the American flag,” and “Do you believe it should be legal to say ‘Merry Christmas’? share = amen” getting reposted a bazillion times on social media!
But I’ve got to say it’s a lot like the government – inasmuch as “we get the
government Internet we deserve”. I mean this:
So long as those of us who understand and love good news, and truth, and encouraging stories either a) fail to share truth with the enthusiasm that tends to accompany nonsense or b) make things worse by re-posting dumb stuff ourselves, America will remain not only polarized but increasingly stupid.
Here’s my question: Why oh why do the compassionate, the moderate, the reasonable, the positive, the kindhearted, the understanding, the open-hearted, the generous of spirit, those who welcome diversity (in other words, “us”) fail so consistently when it comes to standing up for what we know is right? Why do we cede (surrender, concede, relinquish, yield) the energy and the momentum to the unreasonable, the unkind, the closed-minded and the divisive?
This is December, friends! This is Advent! This is the month we celebrate Christmas! This is the time of HOPE & PEACE & LOVE & JOY!
There is a child coming, a migrant child who has to leave his homeland because of political unrest and the threat of violence. There is a child coming who will preach pro-active, self-sacrificial, no-holds-bared love and eventually be killed because his compassion and humility were so radically transformational.
This is the message I want to see splashed all over social media. This is our opportunity to stand up and be noticed. This is our time to love with such eloquence that the darkness will melt into the nothingness it really is.
Light and grace and promise – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.